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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mark Doubles Down

As I've blogged several times in the past, I love fast food.  I'm always on the search for the newest and best fast food tastes.  And one fast food I've always had a soft spot for is Kentucky Fried Chicken.  When I was a kid, KFC was symbolic of being too lazy to cook and the family all gathered in front of the TV.  Working the most hellish job I ever worked, KFC provided a welcome break on the rare times I earned a lunch break.  And when I was in Japan, most of my colleagues thought me homesick because I ate at KFC whenever I could.  Maybe I was genuinely homesick, but I just loved the fact that there were three within walking distance of my apartment.
KFC, of course, made headlines back in the spring with the introduction of their now-infamous "Double Down."  Two chicken breasts, and smushed in between are two strips of cheese, two strips of bacon, and a dollop of special sauce.  Announced on April Fool's Day and only meant to be a lark for the month of April, overwhelming popularity convinced KFC to make it a permanent addition to their menu in the USA.  And thanks to overwhelming curiosity up here in Canada, KFC announced at the start of this month that they were bringing it to Canada for a limited time.   I knew I had to try one.  I knew I had to be there when they went on sale yesterday.

So, yesterday afternoon, after work, I hopped in the car and drove to the nearest KFC, down in Westlock.

The KFC sign juts towards the gray October sky in Westlock.

After my long drive to Westlock, I took a moment to really drink in what I was about to do.  Many food critics have quickly dubbed it one of the worst fast food items ever created.  But I knew I had to sample it.  Eating a Double Down is one of those things you have to do just once in your life for the experience, like skydiving or visiting a nude beach.  I ventured into the restaurant...and into the great unknown.

A gigantic floor display of the Double Down.  An enormous picture of the Double Down dominated the display.  The caption reads "The Double Down is Here, Canada.  Take one down before it's gone." 

Stopping to take a picture of the floor display tipped off the clerk as to what I was there to order.  As I've learned from prior experience, the Westlock KFC is always very quiet at 2:30 on a Monday afternoon.  (What can I say?  I make the trip whenever I have a serious case of the Mondays.)  There was no line as I walked up the till and placed my order.  I made smalltalk with the clerk as I waited for my Double Down.  Apparently, they weren't selling too quickly at the Westlock location.  Eventually, my order came, and I found myself a nice little corner booth.

I peel back the wax paper wrapper to reveal the Double Down.  The two slices of cheese are sticking out from between two chicken breasts.  The chicken breasts are a golden brown, covered with Colonel's trademark 11 herbs and spices.

I stared at the steaming "meat glorb."  My destiny was staring back at me from that wax wrapper.  I knew it was now or never.  I knew it was onward and upward.  I knew it was time to swallow my fate. 

I picked up the foodstuffs.  Even through the wax wrapper, I could feel grease oozing out of the chicken as I gently squeezed it.  I closed my eyes and took a bite. 

This was, by far, the saltiest thing I have ever eaten.  No wonder one of the health warnings is that you get a full day's serving of sodium from this thing.  You don't taste chicken.  You don't taste the cheese.  You don't taste the sauce.  All you taste is salt.  It's just one big mass of salt held together by processed chicken.  And that was just after one bite.  I paid $8.95 for my combo meal, and I was going to finish this! 

I took a sip of my Pepsi and went in for another bite.  It was still nothing but salt.  After about six or seven bites, you start getting used to the salt, and you can start detecting the other flavors.  But again, after the saltiness started going away, all I tasted was the chicken.  The bacon, cheese, and sauce was completely drowned out.  Was the cheese and bacon even on it?  Well, it must have been because I have photographic evidence.

It was about halfway through that I started feeling queasy.  Not the, "Oh my God, I'm getting food poisoning!" kind of queasy, but the, "I have eaten far too much and if I have any more I'm going to puke" kind of queasy.  Let me put this into perspective.  Because of the hours I work, I ate breakfast at 4AM.  I skipped lunch that day because I knew I was planning to do this.  I wound up having my lunch/supper at 3PM.  I hadn't eaten anything in 11 hours, and I was starting to feel full just halfway through this thing.  But damn it, I was going to finish it!

And I did.  I finished off my Pepsi to rinse the rest of the salt out of my mouth.  I rose from the table and took my trash to the wastebasket.  I felt...full.  I didn't feel sick or any ill effects.  Just full.  I started making my way to the car and the long drive home to Athabasca. 

Now that it's been a full 24 hours since I've eaten this, I can quite honestly say this is the most disgusting thing I have ever eaten.  The grease just oozes out from every where, and the salt!  I just can't get over how salty it is.  The salt just overpowers any flavour this thing might have.  But I have done it.  I have done it just once for the experience.  And the next time I visit KFC, I'll just stick with my Twister, thank you very much. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I too tried it on monday, but there was a 20 minute line up when I got to the west ed location in Edmonton. Anyone that knows me knows I eat a lot at a meal. look at me I NEED a double order. Now I didnt get the combo but just 2 double downs. I could taste the bacon even the extra cheese sauce with the peppercorn cheese and was that swiss? the chicken wasnt to greesy (for a change at KFC) had the 2 and was a bit hungry after. but have tried it and done. Found out after taht there is a SALAD at wendys that has MORE salt and calories that the DD. From what I heard the DD is only # 5 out of the top ten worst foods you can eat at fast food.